Innovation Institute

How Companies Reinvented Themselves through Innovation | IKE Fellows Recognised

Innovation was in the air as Members and Fellows of the Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Institute gathered for a celebratory lunch at the Royal Society on 26 January 2017.

The event included presentations by Chair of the parliamentary Science and Technology Committee Stephen Metcalfe MP, and Baroness Sandip Verma, a tireless champion of innovation, STEM education and skills.

The gathering marked the promotion of 40 IKE Members to Fellows of the Institute. In addition, the divisions of two organisations, BAE Systems and Thales UK, received prestigious Investor in Innovations awards.

Investor in Innovations is an industry-backed accreditation that measures an organisation's capacity and capability to innovate, assessing the overall strategy and the business value of research and development activities.

Technology and Innovation Manager Ben Pritchard FIKE, accepting the Investor in Innovations accreditation on behalf of Thales UK's Ground Transportation Systems division said:

"It feels very exciting to receive this accreditation, because it demonstrates how important innovation is to our business.

"The Investor in Innovations process has helped us understand new things about our organisation, identifying best practice and also areas for improvement.

"Now that we've got a clear action plan, the whole innovation team is really galvanised and enthusiastic to deliver it. We will continue working with the IKE and their whole network of innovators, to understand how we can keep improving and bringing real value to our business."

Michael Christie FIKE, Strategy Director and Chief Technologist at BAE Systems' Military Aircraft and Information division said:

"As an engineering company, it's extremely important to constantly review and reinvent how we look at things. I'm very proud to be getting the accreditation today. This has been an important part of my activities to increase the focus on innovation within my organisation over the past couple of years."

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock and Chair of the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee said:

"Innovation is taking blue skies thinking and turning it into something that we, and society, can all benefit from. But innovation is not just about products, it's also about people and the way we do business, the way we train our staff. We can innovate in all sorts of areas, and if we have a new focus on innovation in the UK, we will continue to be a world leader and a world beater.

"There's already a lot of collaboration going on between Government and industry, but much more can be done. We need to encourage businesses of all sizes to look to their regional universities to see how they can expand the opportunities for cross working and fertilisation of ideas."

Baroness Verma said:

"From time immemorial, the greatest ideas have often come as a side product from other activities. We need to encourage people in the UK to invest much more into research and development.

"The IKE Institute plays the role of bringing people together, creating a synergy of organisations across the UK that are pioneering innovation, and sharing their experiences. IKE allows us to go and reach out, and allows industry and Government to share best practice."

Professor Sa'ad Medhat, Chief Executive of the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange said:

"Innovation is the golden thread that runs through our economy. We need to ensure that our focus on innovation remains strong as we seek to maintain our competitive edge in the uncertain economic and political times ahead.

"Today has been a tremendous celebration of the people and companies that are using the discipline of innovation to transform their activities, both within their teams and their wider organisations.

"Congratulations to all 40 new IKE Fellows and to Thales UK and BAE Systems for reaching these significant milestones. We look forward to deepening our relationships and promoting the sharing of innovation best practice across all disciplines and sectors over the coming year."

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